CIPS Chartered Member status and name change – use your vote

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply members are invited to vote at the AGM on two resolutions which relate to important changes for the organisation. The less contentious is the name change, substituting ‘Procurement’ for ‘Purchasing’.  Members are heavily in favour based on surveys, despite some evidence that 'purchasing' is a more familiar word in some parts of the world.But the more strategic change is the introduction of the Chartered Member grade.

The Special Resolutions for the AGM can be read in full here. It is a well-written document, with things explained in clear language rather than formal company secretary speak, so well done for CIPS for that. Here is a quick extract:

“Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional is anchored to the CIPS Executive Diploma in Procurement and Supply, a Masters Level programme, equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma and can only be awarded to those who already hold MCIPS (Full membership of CIPS) and have five years post-qualification experience. Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional can also be awarded to Fellows of CIPS (FCIPS) who meet the pre-requisite criteria.

Chartered status can be awarded to an individual who has completed a CIPS accredited academic or practitioner programme, or alternatively has come through the experiential route. Individuals who have been successful in their application will be able to use the designation ‘Chartered Procurement and Supply Professional”.

We covered the proposals at some length a while ago, so don’t intend to go over all the issues again. There are concerns around the new level leading to a downgrading in some sense both MCIPS and the “Fellow” status, and it is interesting to note that Fellows were the least keen on the idea when CIPS surveyed members, although 60% were still in favour. On balance, I support the moves personally, with reservations, but I come back to the view that as we are a Chartered Institute, we might as well use that factor to have a Chartered status.

Will I apply for it myself? I don’t know.  What’s it going to cost, for a start? That’s a still outstanding question, and the more cynical might wonder whether CIPS sees this an annuity cash cow. The mandatory taking of an ‘Ethics’ test seems a little excessive, and if the current price tag of £38 for non members is an indication of the expected fees just for that test, then it could be a nice little earner. There has also been no discussion I’m aware of around the fees involved in first applying for the chartered status, then the annual fees to keep up Chartered status – will the membership fees be higher than for MCIPS or FCIPS?

I don’t honestly think the CIPS management or trustees are proposing this as a revenue earning initiative, but if it is made too pricy, I can see some members – or even their employers, if they pay the fees – pushing back somewhat. For instance, I wonder how much the Ministry of Defence spends a year on CIPS subscriptions already?

Anyway, if you can’t attend the meeting personally, held in CIPS HQ at Easton on the Hill, near Stamford, Lincs on June 25th at 12.30pm, then you can nominate the chair of the meeting as a proxy. Just write “the chairman” on the proxy form. As with all democratic institutions, using your vote is a good thing. So whatever your views, do try and express them as part of the democratic process. Here is the form – return it by June 23rd.

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